Saturday's (8/25) Scrimmage Notes:
Seldom used slotback Kelechi Odocha looked impressive on a screen pass, as the junior took it to the house from 30 yards out and that really got his offensive teammates pumped up.
During the situational (3rd & 6) component of practice, 2nd team QB, Angel Santiago made the best of his time under center and hit pay dirt.
Another situational highlight saw QB, Trent Steelman play-action and roll to his right and hit WR, Patrick Laird on sideline fade. The 6-foot-3 receiver extended himself and made an outstanding two handed grab over the defender, while remaining in bounds.
On 4th down at the 7 yard line, Steelman's pass was deflected in the end-zone and picked off by free safety, Ty Shrader.
During the special teams segment, back on kick-off returns for the first unit were fellow sophomores, cornerback Marques Avery and slotback, Stephen Fraser.
Kicker, Eric Osteen showed a strong leg on Saturday, as one of his kick-offs easily found its way into the end-zone for no return.
No one was able to compete with linebacker coach Robert Lyles' lively trash talking throughout the scrimmage, which was followed by cornerback coach, Tony Coaxum joining in. Needless to say, the defensive sideline was energized.
Truly, having a 2012 season kick-off of September 15th works well for Army wounded warriors. The most notable adoring the 'red' injury jerseys were starting center, Ryan Powis, who hopes to have an official doctor's decision this upcoming week relative to his injured left hand. Also on the injured list is starting wide receiver, Malcolm Brown, who hamstring has him sidelined.
Co-Defensive Coordinator, Ian Shields took some time out after Saturday's scrimmage to provide a general overview on the current status of the Army defense, especially at defensive tackle.
Last year saw the Black Knights undermanned inside at tackle, where defensive ends such as Holt Zaineraitis, were playing out of position out of necessity and here is what Shields had to say.
"As a whole, I think we are in a better place then were last fall at this time, which is a positive," declares Shields. "I think our guys are comfortable with what we are trying to do schematically. And they have a greater understanding, especially those young guys who were put into the fire last year. They are relatively still young, but they have a great amount of experience to call on. I think that has help bond us on defense and allow us to really understand what works for us on defense. Not necessarily allowing someone to get a certain amount of yardage, but also understanding situations and turnovers .... being aware of what the game is doing at that time. I think our kids have a great understanding for that."
Shields moved from discussing the "D" as a whole, and targeted what is unfolding on the inside at tackle.
"Right now we have five guys playing at tackle," he adds. "You have Mike Ugeny, Bobby Kough, Joe Drummond, Richard Glover and Clayton Keller."
"All five of those guys are bringing some unique part of the game to the table. I think it makes us a lot better at defensive tackle as far as us being on our opponents side of the line of scrimmage, even though guys like Mike and Bobby haven't played college football yet. They are proven to be a dominate force. Clayton Keller has been in the game, Richard Glover has been in the game and Joe Drummond was a young man that we actually have high hopes for before he got hurt (2011). Between him, Mike and Bobby, who haven't played we are sure that they will be alright. For us, to honest, that is where it starts for us. If we can be successful in the middle, it just ripple effects back and to the edges."
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